Per a previous update, Robert Downey Jr. is playing “multiple supporting roles as the main antagonists, all of whom represent a different arm of the American establishment” in the TV series version of “The Sympathizer.” While it’s definitely an eyebrow-raising prospect, it’s also an intriguing creative decision that ought to do its part to ensure the show is as much of a surreal social-political satire as its source material. Indeed, one can imagine an actor of Downey’s caliber having quite the field day with a venture like this, much as Rory Kinnear did with his own multiple performances in 2022’s “Men.”
Elsewhere, Hoa Xuande (“Top of the Lake”) will play the actual protagonist of “The Sympathizer,” aka The Captain, who’s described in the series as “a spy for North Vietnam embedded in the refugee community in Los Angeles.” Other cast members include Fred Nguyen Khan as the Captain’s childhood friend Bon, Toan Le as the South Vietnamese Secret Police leader known as The General, Vy Le as The General’s “rebellious” daughter Lana, and Alan Trong as The Captain’s “idealistic” former classmate Sonny. Joining them are Duy Nguyen as The Captain’s “blood brother and spy handler” Man, with Sandra Oh, Kieu Chinh, Ky Duyen, VyVy Nguyen, and Kayli Tran in key supporting roles.
In addition to splitting showrunner duties with Don McKellar, Deadline reports Park Chan-wook will co-direct “The Sympathizer” with Marc Munden (“Utopia,” “The Third Day”) and Fernando Meireilles (“City of God,” “The Two Popes”). The show as a whole boasts quite the eclectic — and exciting — lineup of talent, so it’s certainly one to keep an eye on … and not just for more set photos of Downey in strange getups, either.